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Beyond Tigers: The Rich Biodiversity Of Madhya Pradesh's National Parks

by Nimisha Tewari 20 Sep 2023

Madhya Pradesh, often called the "Tiger State" of India due to its significant tiger population, is also home to a remarkable diversity of wildlife and ecosystems beyond tigers. The state's national parks and wildlife sanctuaries offer a rich tapestry of biodiversity. Here's a glimpse into the incredible variety of flora and fauna you can encounter in Madhya Pradesh's national parks:

1. Tigers:

  • While tigers are the poster species for Madhya Pradesh's wildlife, they share their habitats with numerous other species, creating a balanced ecosystem. 

2. Leopards:

  • Leopards are often overshadowed by tigers but are equally charismatic and adaptable. They are found in many of the state's parks. 

3. Sloth Bears:

  • Madhya Pradesh is known for its healthy sloth bear populations. These shaggy-coated bears are often seen foraging for termites and ants.

4. Indian Bison (Gaur):

  • The state's forests are home to herds of Indian bison, the largest bovine species in the world.

5. Barasingha (Swamp Deer):

  • The barasingha, with its distinctive antlers, is found in Kanha National Park and is also known as the "Jewel of Kanha." 

6. Indian Rhinoceros:

  • Dudhwa National Park in Uttar Pradesh, bordering Madhya Pradesh, is home to the Indian rhinoceros, a critically endangered species.

7. Wild Dogs (Dholes):

  • Dholes or wild dogs, are often seen in packs, and they are skilled hunters.

8. Chital (Spotted Deer):

  • The spotted deer, with its striking white spots, is one of the most commonly seen deer species in the state.

9. Sambar Deer:

  • The sambar, the largest deer species in India, is a common sight in Madhya Pradesh's forests.

10. Indian Wild Boar: - Indian wild boars are often spotted foraging in the undergrowth.

11. Indian Pangolin: - This elusive and endangered mammal is known for its unique armor-like scales.

12. Birdlife: - Madhya Pradesh is a paradise for birdwatchers. You can spot a wide variety of avian species, including Indian rollers, jungle fowls, hornbills and various raptors. 

13. Freshwater Turtles: - Rivers and wetlands in Madhya Pradesh are home to various species of freshwater turtles.

14. Reptiles: - The state's parks are inhabited by reptiles like Indian pythons, cobras and monitor lizards.

15. Insects and Butterflies: - The diverse flora supports a variety of insects, and the region is home to numerous butterfly species. 

16. Flora: - Madhya Pradesh's forests include diverse vegetation, including sal forests, bamboo groves and mixed deciduous forests. The state's flora is essential for the sustenance of its rich wildlife. 

Madhya Pradesh's national parks and wildlife sanctuaries are not just about the charismatic mega-fauna; they offer a holistic experience of the natural world, from the smallest insects to the grandeur of its landscapes. Exploring the biodiversity of these parks provides a deeper appreciation of the intricate web of life that thrives in this central Indian state.

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